Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Favorite Christmas Movie

Yesterday Ben and I saw the most hilarious movie- there were about 4 times I was crying because I was laughing so hard. If you like The Office, you MUST watch this- because it is that kind-of humor. It is so incredibly witty and FUNNY!!!! GET THIS MOVIE- it is an absolute must see (if you like to laugh).
Here is the trailor (though it doesn't do the movie justice because the movie is SO FUNNY!!!!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thoughts Before Christmas

My friend posted her thoughts on Christmas and it was a beautiful post (thanks, Jenny!) and caused me to reminisce on the beauty of this holiday season.
Like most people, I love Christmas. I love the traditions, the food, the family gatherings, the presents- both giving and getting (I am human), the food, the vacation time, the decorations, the food, Christmas cards, and most everything inbetween. I HATE shopping in December, and I think those of you who love black Friday are crazy. But, I love getting all of my shopping done before Thanksgiving! I love the magic of Christmas- the happiness in children's faces and the peace and joy that come this time of year.
But- and this is the part I want to make clear- the thing I love most about Christmas is the reason we celebrate Christmas. I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Him more then any words can convey. I know that He lives- I don't just believe it, I KNOW it. Some might ask how I know, and the answer is simple. I have felt Him. I have talked with Him through prayer. I have seen miracles in my life that came through Him.
I have friends who have daily personal revelations and walks with God. I am not there yet. I do not rely on the Savior as much as I need to. I do not yet have the faith to move mountains, and I certainly do not understand the mysteries of Heaven. But, I know that Christ is my Redeemer, and at this Christmas time of year, I am reminded that I need to try a little harder. Study the scriptures a little more dilligently. Pray more fervently. Become a little more as He would have me be, so that I can be a greater servant for His good.
And so, at this Christmas 2009, I wish you the most blessed Christmas of your life. May we all remember the true reason of the season, and all try a little harder to be a little more like him.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Only Once A Year

As last year, I am a little hesitant to write this post. Due to time constraints, we were unable to deliver our goodies to as many places as we usually do, so I I have to apologize up front for not getting goodies out to everyone! If it were up to me, I would borrow Santa's sleigh for an evening so I could send Christmas cheer to all of you! But, as a mere mortal, I do what I can. And, because some of you asked for the recipes and I never posted them last year, I decided to post them this year.

Audra got to help out for the first time this year which is exciting. She helped Ben dip pretzels- her job was to put the pretzels in the bowl. She liked this job, and kept saying, "I'm helping mommy!" So cute.

Here are the finished products just as I started assembling the plates so it's not that great of a picture:BUT, I wanted to show off my new hair cut. I am a little vain this week, but I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE my hair, and I feel pretty hot right now. I told you I am a little vain. But, you have to understand that I have had "mommy hair" for the past 20 years. I know I got the short end of the pretty stick, so I have to admit that I am greatly enjoying the compliments I have been getting. I will repent tomorrow.

On to the recipes.

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels:

Melt chocolate in the microwave (many of the recipes require you to do this- the best way Ihave found to do this is to microwave for 1 minute, stir, microwave 1 minute, stir, etc.)

Place pretzels in chocolate. Remove with a fork. Place on wax paper to dry.

Magic Cookie Bars

Here's a link to the recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/magic-cookie-bars-from-eagle-brand/Detail.aspx

This is perhaps the greatest treat on the planet, and very easy to make.

Rice Krispies: on the box, but I wanted to just say that I make them every year and they are ALWAYS the first things to disappear, so I will continue to make them as they seem to be a favorite treat.

Choco-Mallow Bars

2 c graham cracker crumbs

1/2 c Miracle Whip

1/4 cup sugar

2 bars (7 oz. each) milk chocolate candy, broken into pieces, divided

1 c mini-marshmallows

Heat oven to 350 F. Mix crumbs, dressing, and sugar; press into 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with 1 1/2 of the chocolate bars; continue baking 2 minutes. Spread melted chocolate over crumb mixture. Top with marshmallows.

Microwave remaining 1 1/2 of the chocolate bar in microwave-safe bowl one high 30 seconds. Drizzle over marshmallows. Refrigerate. Makes 24.

I made these this year, and I am not sure that I like the Miracle Whip in it, but you can't really taste it so it is good. They turned out great, and I will make them again. This is a recipe from Kraft Foods.

Milk Chocolate and Caramel Clusters- I absolutely LOVE these- I always double this, and it is one of my favorites! This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens- the best cookbook ever.

12 vanilla caramels, unwrapped

1/2 cup milk chocolate pieces

2 T water

2 c honey graham cereal, slightly srushed (about 1 1/2 cups)

3/4 c peanuts

Line 2 cookie sheets with waxed paper; set aside. In a heavy medium saucepan combine caramels, chocolate pieces, and water. Heat and stir over low heat until caramels are melted. Remove saucepan from the heat. Stir in cereal and peanuts.

Working quickly, drop cereal mixture from a teaspoon onto prepared cookie sheets. Let stand until firm.

Marbled Mint Bark- LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe for Christmas- super easy, and super yummy! Again, from the Better Homes Cookbook.

1 lb. vanilla flavored candy coating, cut up (I use white chocolate bark)

3/4 cup finely crushed red and/or green striped peppermint candies (I use candy canes)

Red food coloring- optional

1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate pieces

Line baking sheet with foil, set aside

In a microwave-safe bowl microwave candy coating pieces on 100 percent power for 2-3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Stir in crushed candies and, if desired, red food coloring to tint to desired color. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Spread to about 1/4-inch thickness.

Melt chocolate pieces in microwave. Drizzle over peppermint mixture.

Let candy stand about 2 hours or until firm. Use foil to lift candy from baking sheet; carefully break candy into pieces. Store, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to two weeks.

5 minute fudge: I won't give you this recipe because it was given to me from a friend and I don't know if it's a family recipe or something, but it is YUMMY!

That's pretty much it- if you have any questions, let me know!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

5 Months

(Please be sure not to miss the picture of the day post below!)

Claire turned 5 months old today, and this past month has been interesting.

You all know Claire has been sleeping with us, and that had been working out perfectly. But, about 3 weeks ago she started waking up 5, 6, 7 times a night just screaming. Ben started sleeping in Claire's room again, and I started getting zero sleep again. Right before Thanksgiving I had a breakdown and Ben got to hear more four letter words come out of my mouth then ever before, and I knew things had to change. I decided to try sleep training her in her crib. So, the day before Thanksgiving I put her in her crib for the very first time to try and take a nap. It didn't work very well- she only napped for about 30 minutes, but at least it was a start.

I should interject and say that I absolutely HATE the cry-it-out method. I know many of you use it and love it and have had great success with it and that is wonderful. But, for me I don't like it- it failed miserably with Audra and I never want to go through that again. But, we do like Dr. Ferber's method. He is a cross between cry-it-out and go to them every time they cry. Basically, you let them cry for 5 minutes then go in and soothe, then let them cry for 7 minutes and go in and soothe, etc.

The day after Thanksgiving we decided to give it a try. I could never let her cry for a full 5 minutes before I went in to soothe her, so I went in every few minutes. But, she has actually always been able to self soothe, and this method seems to be working well. The first couple nights were rough, but last week she slept until 5:30, then just nursed and fell back asleep until 9. That gave me hope, which was quickly dashed by 2 horrible nights in a row, but the last 4 nights she has just woken up once around 3:30 to nurse, then she goes back to sleep until morning. She goes to bed in her crib great, without any crying, and she is now napping for longer stretches of time in her crib which is great! Of course, it would be better if I was home more for her naps, but we are doing our best.

So, hopefully (I really don't want to jinx this!) we have a sleep-trained little girl without hardly any crying. At least until she starts teething. Or gets sick. Or has a growth spurt. Or gets shots...

Picture of the Day

Please be sure to notice the mismatched shoes and the shirt on backwards (on top of 3 other shirts). Oh, how I love this girl!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

November Totals

OK, here's my grocery totals for November:

Total Spent: $ 231.35

Total Saved:$353.52

Not bad, but I am still not to my goal of only 200/month. But, I started out at over 400 a month so I am feeling pretty good! Plus, I did have one "binge" week where I bought a lot of stuff not on sale and without coupons because I needed things for Thanksgiving pies. Oh, well- I still came out looking good!

Monday, November 30, 2009


A few years ago Ben and I came upon the coolest Christmas house we have ever seen. We have made it a tradition to go see it every year, so tonight for Family Home Evening we packed up and headed out.

I wish the pictures could do justice of how much Audra enjoyed it (well, there are actually two houses on the same block that are both spectacular). When we got home she just rambled on and on and on about it. I didn't understand anything she said, except for the word "lights" randomly blurted out.

These videos are not exciting, but I thought my mom would enjoy them.

We highly recommend taking the fam to see these houses- they really are unbelievable! If you head east on Belleview from Santa Fe, you will go to Elati- about 6 blocks or so before Broadway. Turn left (north) on Elati, and you can not miss them! Bring a couple of singles if you can because they do ask for donations to help pay for electricity, and you will agree that they probably need the help- and that it is well worth the money!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We Might Be Insane

The weekend began with the simple phrase, "Ben, I have an idea!" He is learning to hate the phrase- painting the bedroom, installing new hardwood floors; the list goes on and on of all of my ideas that have turned into near divorce court battles.

I have decided that it is time Ben and I get our food storage. (Leaders of our church encourage us to get a years' supply of food in case of emergency- does this make us crazy? Perhaps. But if there is an emergency, come on over and we'll supply dinner!) A friend of ours has this fantastic shelf that rotates your food for you and I decided that Ben and I should build one. These cost about 350.00 in the store, and that is just WAY too much for a shelf.

So, we borrowed a circular saw and made our way to Home Depot where we bought 90.00 worth of wood. Ben said, "this had better work!" It was a reasonable comment considering more then one of my ideas has gone horribly awry and turned into disaster.

On Friday, we got to work. Four hours were spent just getting the actual shelves ready- and by the end I was exhausted and wondered why on earth we didn't just spend the 350.00 to buy the ones already made (though, we would have had to buy 2 of them to get as much space as we have on the shelf we made).
Here is Ben dilligently screwing away. This picture is misleading, however, because I did 95% of the work- though he watched the girls so I could build it which is almost as difficult.
On Saturday we worked for another 4 hours and got it finished. Here are some pictures of the finished product. You can't really tell, but the shelves are slanted so you put the new food at the back and the older product rolls to the front so that your food rotates for you.

It ended up turning out fantastic (a little surprising since I was the one in charge), and I am certain we will be grateful for it for years to come. This is the reason, however, that we will never move: I am never taking that down and reinstalling it anywhere else! This turned out to be a mammoth project. Was it worth it? Yes. Will I ever do it again? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

And Ben has forbidden me from getting anymore ideas. Smart man.

Monday, November 23, 2009


On Saturday we set up our Christmas tree. A little early, but Ben might have to travel in December so he wanted to be able to enjoy it for a longer period of time before he goes out of town. We went a little overboard after Christmas last year and bought a huge tree (yes, we use a fake tree- it may not smell as nice, but it sure is easier- and cheaper!)
Here Audra and I are fluffing the branches (yes, she is climbing into the tree to do this).

And what do Daddy and Claire do while we work so hard:We set up the train- Audra's favorite:And voila! Our Christmas tree:I don't know what it is about setting up the tree, but it stirs a number of emotions. As I was watching Audra and Ben set up the train and looking at the tree, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessings we have. It is fitting, of course, since this is the week of Thanksgiving, to be reminded of all that I am grateful for.

First and foremost, I am grateful for Christ and His gospel in my life. I am grateful to know that I am a daughter of God and that He loves me.

I am grateful for my family- for my beautiful girls and my hottie of a husband- who loves me more then I ever thought possible. I'm grateful for my sisters and my brother and my in-laws. I am incredibly grateful to my parents who put up with a lot of crap from me, but still helped me turn out OK.

I am grateful for the greatest friends in the world- you guys keep me going!

I am grateful that my life has truly brought me happiness. I never in a million years would have dreamed I could be so happy. Is life perfect? Heavens NO! There are definitely days I want to pull my hair out and call it quits. But, in the end, being able to sit and watch the Christmas tree while enjoying LIFE is the best thing in the world. And I am grateful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Good Laugh

Here is some footage of Claire with her #1 fan: Audra! These two love each other so much already- in fact, Audra is the ONLY one who can get Claire to laugh! We try as hard as we can, but she won't do it- then Audra just walks into the room and Claire starts laughing. I love seeing the two together- I just know they will be best friends (and worst enemies- we all know how that goes!).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Celebration Time!

Yippee- Ben finally got the promotion they have been promising him for over a year!!!! Good job sweetie, you have definitely earned it!!!!

Then, Audra has been waking up throwing up really badly several times in the last few weeks. We took her to the doctor and hopefully found the problem: constipation! Who would have thought those two were connected? So, yippee for prune juice, finding the solution to the problem, and no more puking at night (though now we might need to change diapers at night)!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Several of you have asked how I was able to get $120 of groceries for $26. I will attempt to break it down here so you can see that this actually does work!! However, you should note: this does take TIME- and lots of it. I spend an hour clipping coupons on Sundays, and 2-3 hours getting my grocery lists ready, and then at least an hour at the grocery store each week. If I was working full time, this probably would not be worth it to me. But, for now it is a HUGE blessing!

OK, here is how I scored the sweet deals.

I am going to show you my Safeway deals because those were the best ones I got last week. I choose between Albertsons, Safeway, or Kings Soopers depending on which one has the best deals for that week. Sometimes I will go to 2 stores, if they are both having stellar deals and I have time (you still need to remember that I am about the cheapest woman in America so a great deal really gets me excited). Target and Wal-Mart are not good places to grocery shop with coupons because:
1. They don't double coupons- that adds up to tons of missed savings! (make sure wherever you go they will double your coupons- the chain grocers will typically double them up to 1.00)
2. They don't have the "mega events"- promotions like if you buy 10 participating items you get 5.00 off your order and things like that. Again, it leaves a lot of savings still in their pocket- not yours!

My shopping trip:
2 C&H Brown Sugar (2 lb bags)- on sale for 1.69 each. I had a coupons for .65 off of two, so I bought 2 for 3.38 and got a dollar off (the coupon doubled to 1.00) so I paid 2.28 for two things of 2 lb. brown sugar

2 C&H Powdered Sugar (2 lb. bags)- same deal as above

Gold Medal 5 lb. bag of flour- on sale for 2.00. No coupons, but a good price.

Nature Valley Nut Cluster- On sale for 2.99. I had an e-coupon for 1.00 off and a manufacturer's coupon for 1.00 off so the total cost came to .99.

Betty Crocker cookie mix- on sale for 1.69, had a coupon for .40 off, doubled to .80 off- total cost .89

Betty crocker frosting- on sale for 1.50, coupon for .50 off, doubled to 1.oo off- total cost .50

Green Giant canned veggies- on sale for .39. No coupons, but a great price- got 6 for 2.34

Sugar- 2.00 for 5 lb bag- no coupons, good price, got 4 bags for 8.00

Salt- needed it so I got it for .49

Progresso Soup- on sale for 1.00 a can. I had a ton of coupons which all doubled so I got 9 cans for 4.70

Ritz Crackers- regularly 3.99 each, on sale for buy one get one free. Plus, I had 2 1.00 off coupons, so I got two boxes of Ritz crackers for 2.00

Oregano- on sale for 2.02, had a coupon for .50, doubled to 1.00 total cost 1.02

Argo Corn starch- on sale for 1.49, had coupon for .50, total cost- .49

Pillsbury cookie dough- on sale for 2.50, had coupon for .50, total cost 1.50

Scrubbing Bubbles Bath Cleaner- regularly 3.99 each. On sale for buy one get one free PLUS if you bought 3 or more the price dropped to 1.99 each. I got 4 cans. Two were free because of the BOGO deal. The other two cans were 1.99 each, for a total of 4 dollars. I had two coupons for 2 dollars off two cans. Because I bought 4 cans, I got to use both coupons, so I got them all for FREE!!!

Then, Safeway is currently doing a deal where if you buy 25 dollars in participating baking items you get a 5 dollar coupon off your next purchase. I had a coupon from last week for doing that, so I got an extra 5 dollars off my order, plus I earned another 5 dollars off my next order (hence all the baking goods I bought).

Have I confused you yet???

You will notice this is all "fluff" foods- no meal foods or produce. I went to King Soopers for that and spent 33 dollars for an entire weeks worth of real food groceries. All of this food went right into food storage- where it will be used in the future! So, I basically went to Safeway just to take advantage of their great deals and stock up.

I hope this shows you that it is a lot of work, BUT- it really does work!!!! Find websites for your area that break the deals down for you- I found one in Utah called www.utahdealdiva.com and I already posted one for here and for Seattle. Ask around- surely someone you know is doing this if you want to get in on this! And, feel free to ask questions- you CAN do this! I was such a skeptic, and now I am amazed that even I am able to get $120 worth of groceries for $26!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Milestone

Claire turned 4 months yesterday! I'll start with the fun stuff- here are some cute pics:I LOVE this picture of Ben and Claire! She really does love her daddy- often times he is the only one who can get her to calm down when she is crying. What a great dad!

She loves to stand, just like Audra did. They are so similar.
Daddy and Claire match!
Claire is still doing pretty well overall. We ended up putting her on Zantac for reflux and that has calmed her down. She is a really calm baby, but she was starting to be really fussy at night, and now we don't have that problem. However, she does always want to be held, including when she naps. I am sure it is because we have been doing so much attachment parenting. Some people may say we are "spoiling" her, and maybe we are. Sometimes I do find it annoying that she always wants to be held, but at the same time I love the closeness I have with her. I love having her sleep right next to me, even though I don't foresee her going into a crib anytime soon. But I also know that soon she will be running away from me, and I will miss this time and the bond that is between us. I can't even describe it. So, I guess I will just say that there are definite pros and cons, but for now this is working for us. And, in the end, aren't we all just doing the best we can?
Height: 2 ft 1 inch- 72%
Weight: 13 lb. 3.5 oz.- 41%
Head: 15.76"- 23%
We love you Claire!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Proudest Day

Maybe today isn't the proudest day of my entire life, but I am feeling pretty good. Why, you ask? Because I just got back from the grocery store where I spent 85 CENTS for all of this:

Yes, that's right 85 CENTS! I promise I won't share every good deal I get, but I was pretty proud of myself for this one! I was actually planning for it all last night as I was sleeping. While this may not be all that exciting to you, for a stay-at-home mom with nothing better to do (yeah, right), this was very exciting!

I started coupon-ing at the end of last month when I saw how successful my friend was. I feel like I have been spending WAY too much on groceries, and I wanted to cut down on that cost. I just added up my numbers for October, and I did a complete double take! I actually recounted the numbers because I didn't believe it. Here are the numbers:

Average grocery bill per month for the past 6 months: $403.74 (WAY too much for 2-1/2 people)

October grocery bill: $288.33

Amount saved by using coupons and shopping sales: $307.24

HOLY COW!!! Can you believe those numbers? I couldn't either- I can't wait to show Ben and tell him how awesome I am!!! Not only did I spend TONS less, but the biggest differene is that my cupboards are FULL- I put a lot into food storage this month, I bought almost all name brands, and we have TONS of food to eat!!!! Thank you soooooooooo much for helping me out and giving me the encouragement to do this, Jen N!!!! I was a total skeptic, I did NOT think using coupons would work- and look at what I have been able to accomplish in just ONE month!!!! Thank you also to my in-laws who have started giving me their coupons so I can save even more!!!!

I have a ways to go before I reach my goal, however. I want to get down to $200 a month. Whew- that will cut my food budget in half. I will post my monthly totals, and if you want to know how to get into this whole new world of saving money (tax free!), let me know and I'll answer your questions. I'm so excited about this!!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

OK, I have to admit- Ben and I were Halloween humbugs this year. We didn't take the girls trick-or-treating. We didn't go to our church Halloween party. We didn't even buy candy to hand out to kids who were trick-or-treating (we do have a reason- we went to my cousin's house for dinner so we weren't even home to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters).

BUT, we did dress our girls up in the cutest costumes for pictures and to show off to my cousins:

I think Claire is being eaten here:So I guess Halloween wasn't so bad after all!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

For A Cause

One year ago today, Cici had her choking accident and the Fischer family changed forever. Now Jenny- the loving, optimistic, amazing mother of three, has also become fundraiser extrodanaire, insurance guru, and medicaid "expert." Their lives have been turned upside down and inside out, but their perseverance, love, and determination have continued strong.

In honor of their continued fight, my sister and I have teamed up in a fundraising event for the Fischers. Money raised will be donated to Cici's hyperbaric treatment fund (these are $200 a session, and in order to be effective they do large amounts of sessions in a short period of time- 60 sessions in 30 days- obviously, this is extremely expensive and insurance won't cover it at all. BUT- it is working, and Cici has greatly improved as a result of these treatments!).

From now until November 15th, you can order Mary Kay Cosmetics and Skin Care from my website* at http://www.marykay.com/cmarriott
and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the fund. Mary Kay continues to be an industry leader in the cosmetic and skin industry, with a plethera of new and exciting products just in time for the Christmas season. I can create gift baskets to fit any budget- FREE of charge! Also, shipping is FREE for any orders placed in the continental US. If you have any questions, simply contact me.

Also, any orders placed for Sandbox Creations- beautiful and fun gifts for girls- at http://www.decremer.org/sandboxcreations/ until November 15th will have profits donated to the Fischer family as well. If you have any special request, simply contact Stephanie and she will customize your order special to fit your needs!

There are a couple of ways to get involved:

1. Order gifts for yourself, family, or friends
2. Spread the word- we don't care who orders, we just want to raise as much money as possible for this wonderful and deserving family!!!

*If you already have a MK consultant, rather than ordering from me, please ask your current consultant to donate a portion of any orders you make from now until the 15th to this fund.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Birthday Fun!

Yesterday Audra got to go to a Birthday party. It was so much fun- here are some videos and pictures of the fun time:

Claire "hung out" with Daddy the whole time:

This is Audra's first Birthday cake- at least, that had chocolate in it. Our plan of only feeding her healthy foods so she will have an aversion to sweets is working- she only liked the ice-cream part, not the chocolate cake part:

Oh, and yes Audra did pick out her outfit. And, yes, we did let her go out in public dressed like that. Pick and choose the battles, my friends, pick and choose the battles!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Perhaps We've Made It (yeah, right!)

Ben and I have never had cable in our married lives. We have always said, and I still agree, that cable is a complete waste of money- you just waste a lot of money to waste a lot of your time. I have often told him "I will know we have money to throw away the day we decide to get cable."

Well, we got cable (Dish Network actually).

But we don't have money to throw away. What happened?

Ben won an award at work that came with a bonus. Normally when he gets a bonus I try to talk him into taking me to a really nice restaurant or something, but his answer is always the same: Let's put it into savings. BORING!!!!

This time he decided he wanted to do something fun with it! I wasn't going to try and change his mind on that!!! He wanted a flat panel LCD TV (hence the scam post), but I was able to convince him that our TV is very nice and only 3 years old so we didn't need a new one.

His next idea: We would each get half of the money to do with as we pleased. HELLO!!!!! Do you think I was going to argue with that plan?!? No way! I told him how brilliant he is and that it was his best plan ever- besides marrying me, of course!

So, he decided he wanted cable- but not because of the cable. He really just wanted the DVR (which is very expensive if you don't have cable- just not a market for it, I guess). We have had it for a couple of weeks now, and we LOVE it!!!! We actually spend quite a bit LESS time watching TV because we record everything onto the DVR and fast forward the commercials!!! We haven't added any new shows (except some new ones out this season- I'll do a review of them soon) to our routine, we just watch our old shows faster!!! It's great! I don't think we will ever go back!

And, what did I spend with my half of the bonus? I went from this:

And this:To this:And this:

I have been begging Ben since the day we bought the house to let me replace the 1980's glass and brass- but he thought that was a complete waste of money (he is always so practical). Now we have new chandeliers and I LOVE them!!!! Yippee!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Just Saying It Like It Is

You guys all know that I say things the way it is- I don't beat around the bush and I don't give a lot of BS. What you see is what you get with me. So, you know when I tell you this, it is the truth- plain and simple.
And here is what I have to say: I have, without a doubt, the cutest little baby in the world!!! And, I'm not biased at all:)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two Quick Things

I found out about a FREE lunch at Ted's Montana Grill. You just go to this website http://www.tedsmontanagrill.com/ and answer their trivia question and then they e-mail you a gift certificate for a free lunch (well, you'll probably want a drink and then the cost of the tip- so an almost free lunch at a really yummy restaurant!). Anyway, I thought if you are a SAHM inparticular and you wanted to get together to go to lunch with our free coupons (getting baby-sitters, of course) that would be fun. E-mail me if you want to go! I took the quiz yesterday- I'd give you the answer, but I feel like that's cheating- you should have to go to ask.com to find the answer for yourself (but, if you really don't want to, just e-mail me!).

Also, my friends' husband started a conservative political blog, and I thought since you all get to read my liberal rants from time to time, and I also promote the Political Moms site which is more liberal, I would give you guys his site to check out as well: http://thewtfreport.blogspot.com/

Now you can't say I'm totally one-sided!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Too Funny!

Audra: What are you doing?

Daddy: Getting soup for lunch.

Audra: We're eating poop!

I guess we need to work on the "s" sound!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Three Months!

Clarie turned three months old yesterday- the newborn phase is over! She is still the cutest and sweetest thing- her smiles are so big, and she has the most adorable dimples. She hasn't figured out her voice box yet, so she will open her mouth real big in excitement and look like she wants to laugh, but doesn't make a sound- it is pretty funny. Audra still thinks she is the best thing ever, and will constantly say, "I wanna hold Dare!"
But, the best thing thus far about Claire is her nighttime routine. Here is how to put a Claire-bear to bed:
1. Swaddle Claire
2. Put Claire in swing
3. Turn off light
That is IT! She falls right to sleep. Then, she sleeps until about 3, but all I have to do is put her in bed with us and we both fall right back to sleep. Then, at 5 she wakes up to nurse, and we both fall back to sleep again. I am amazed that I am really not sleep deprived anymore. Granted, she may sleep in our bed until she turns 5, but if I get sleep, I don't really care.
Quick stats:
Weight: About 12 lbs, 8 oz
Height: About 24 inches
And, of course, still practically perfect in every way!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Seeing The Bright Side

The last couple of days have been very frustrating. Audra is becoming very good at trying my patience. Generally, she is a wonderful toddler- very few tantrums and usually very good at following directions. But the last few days have been...hard. She thinks it is funny to go into time-out, run away, and have mommy or daddy carry her back. I checked out the Supernanny book from the library, but that didn't help. She just laughs and laughs while I scream inside out of frustration. I called my sister to ask how she kept herself from breaking things and she said, "sometimes, you just gotta give yourself a time-out." So, after trying to get her to stay in time-out for over 30 minutes (again) with no success (again), I went into my room, shut the door, and cried and prayed. I don't like being angry at my daughther. I don't like contemplating putting her in day care (not me going back to work, just putting her in day care) because I can't handle her.

The next time, with the next time-out attempt, I decided the time-out area was not going to work. I decided to have a "naughty room" instead. This actually seems to be working, thank goodness, but there is one problem: the "naughty room" is really Claire's room. Good thing Claire is still in our room, but what happens when Claire needs her room back? I guess, like most things involving raising children, I will take it one day at a time.

Anyway, back to being frustrated with Audra. She is having problems- like all 2 year olds- listening. I know she knows exactly what I am saying, and she will give me this look that obviously says, "I'm going to do it anyway- what are you going to do about it?" and then does whatever she was not supposed to do. I hate the disciplining part of parenting- I hate feeling out of control and unsure of what to do. It has been so difficult.

But then, on the other hand, how can I not love this:

And this:Her absolutely fun and eccentric personality that now requires her to wear a dress to bed at night, the way she says, "help, please, mama", begs me to let her hold Claire, and gets strawberry juice all over her face- I love her so much, and I know I really will miss these times- no matter how frustrating they are right now. We were watching some video of her last night (Audra's favorite thing to do- look at pictures of herself) from last Christmas, and I was reminded again that she really is growing up so fast, and I am grateful for this time I have with her- even if I need to give myself a time-out to cry every now and again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Great Deals!

For those of you in the CO area, I found a great website: http://springsbargains.com/

It is based in Colorado Springs, but seems to work the same here as well. It is a group of moms (I am guessing) who put together lists of all the great deals at local grocery stores and shops. I am starting to be a coupon-er and this has been a huge help because it tells you what is on sale and what coupon to use with it to get the best deals. You have to search a little bit to find whatever store you go to, but go and check it out- it is pretty cool!!!

Also, October 7th is a free day at the zoo. If the weather is nice, I think I am going to take the girls down. It's a Wednesday, so I don't think it will be too busy (hmm...we'll see). E-mail me if you are interested in meeting us there!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bids For Cici

Most of you know about my friend's daughter who had the accident and now has severe brain trauma. My friend has put together an auction to help raise money, and there are some great items up for great prices!

To see the auction, go here: http://www.bidsforcici.org/
From there, you register with the site and then start bidding away (don't bid on what I am bidding on! Just kidding- I hope you do, so we raise more money for such a great family!)

To read more about their story, and how FABULOUS Cici is doing as a result of all of her therapies (as well as how much these therapies cost and why they need fundraisers!), go here: www.colofisch.blogspot.com

Happy shopping!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Based On Her Outift...

...I don't think Audra is ready for winter yet (yes, she picked out her outfit, and for those of you thinking, "but the calendar says it's only fall"- you must live outside of the Denver metro area and not have had SNOW the last three days like we have had).
In this picture Audra is helping me make bread- something she loves to do. Today she helped me knead and kept saying, "punch bread, punch bread" as she did so. Do I win mother of the year for teaching my 2 year old how to punch?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Good Things Come In Threes!

Some very exciting things around our neck of the woods:

1. For the last three nights, Claire has slept through the night until 8 AM, 5 AM, and 6 AM respectively! Then, when she wakes up, she nurses in bed with us and falls right back to sleep!Yippee!!!! I hope this continues, though I am not holding my breath!

2. The nighttime routine has turned into a nightmare with Audra, so I made her a sticker chart. She earns one star sticker for each part of the routine she behaves well for. We started it last night and it was a total and complete success! Now nighttime won't be such a horrible experience for us all! Yeah!!!

3. After the disaster known as Glee, we found a new comedy we really like: Community. We watched the pilot episode yesterday and it was really, really funny- and mostly clean! Yeah!

Let's hope the wonderful things continue! I'll leave you with a picture of our cutie:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Design On A Dime

(Warning: There WILL be bragging)

Because I have a newborn and have nothing better to do, I decided to completely redecorate our bedroom. Ben had been constantly complaining about how dark and depressing the room was, and Oprah says your bedroom should be your sanctuary, so I decided to get to work. But, being that Ben is my husband, it had to be done on the cheap. Well, mission accomplished!

Here is what I started with:

Here is how it turned out:

Forget about the swing (I AM still a mom), and you have to admit: that looks pretty dang sweet, right?

Here is what we (mostly me, but Ben was a HUGE help with the painting- thank goodness!) did:

Paint- we went with a light blue, and I have to say: I HATE painting!!! I have decided it is like childbirth: during the process it is horrible and you wonder why on earth you are putting yourself through it, but in the end it is worth it. Cost: $90.00

Curtains: I made the curtains (don't look too closely at the "straight" lines). Cost: $14.00

Comforter: I was most worried about this, because let's face it- comforters are EXPENSIVE! But, then one night I realized: I can just flip the comforter upside down and then it will be a nice white comforter! Cost: FREE!

Pillowcases: I made the blue pillowcases, and recovered the green pillow: it used to be red. Cost: $8.00

Art: I like to have pictures of us on the wall- I don't care if it is against the designers code. So, I had a bunch of old picture frames and I painted them black. Cost: Free!

Pictures over the dresser: I made those, and those were a bit trickier. Cost: $9.00.

So I did the whole room for well under $200.00! Let's face it, I'm pretty awesome!